So you have decided to enroll in an X-ray tech school near Dixiana AL in order to become a radiologic technician. But now that you have made a decision to enter the gratifying field of healthcare, how do you set about choosing the ideal school and program so that you will receive the appropriate training to become a qualified practitioner? And because most states do mandate that radiology technicians become licensed, based on where you subsequently work you might require training to pass a licensing exam. So it's imperative that you research each of the X-ray technician schools you are considering in order to evaluate each program. Many students start by searching for colleges or technical schools that are within commuting distance of their homes. Next, they compare tuition and often gravitate toward the lowest cost. But while location and cost should be taken into consideration, there are additional important qualifiers also. For instance, you must ask whether or not the radiology tech schools have earned accreditation, or if they sponsor internship programs. These questions and others you should ask the X-ray Tech schools you are considering are provided later in this article. But first, let's talk about what a radiology technician does and the degrees and training choices that are offered.
Radiology Tech Occupation Description
There are several professional designations for x-ray techs (technicians or technologists). They may also be called radiologic technologists, radiologic technicians, radiographers or radiology techs. Regardless of the name, each has the identical principal job function, which is to employ imaging machines to internally visualize patients for the purpose of diagnosis and treatment. Some radiologic technologists might also administer radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Some opt to work as generalists, while there are those that have chosen a specialty, for instance mammography. They may practice in Dixiana AL clinics, hospitals, private practices or outpatient diagnostic imaging centers. The imaging technologies that an X-Ray technician may utilize include:
- Traditional and specialized X-Rays
- Computerized tomography (CT) or "CAT" scans
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sonography or ultrasound
Radiographers must take care of their equipment plus frequently evaluate its functionality and safety. They are additionally expected to retain in-depth records of all of their diagnostic procedures. As health practitioners, they must adhere to a code of conduct and a high professional standard.
X-Ray Tech Degrees Available
The primary requirement for attending an x-ray tech program is to have attained a high school diploma or equivalent. Radiologic technologist pupils have the option to earn either an Associate Degree or a Bachelor's Degree. An Associate Degree, which is the most prevalent among techs, usually requires 18 months to 2 years to finish based upon the course load and program. A Bachelor's Degree will take longer at up to 4 years to finish and is more comprehensive in nature. The majority of students select a degree major in Radiography, but there are additional similar majors that may be appropriate as well. Something to consider is that radiographer programs have a clinical training or lab component as part of their curriculum. It can typically be fulfilled by taking part in an internship program which many schools offer through local clinics and hospitals in Dixiana AL or their area. After you have graduated from one of the degree programs, you will need to abide by any certification or licensing requirements in Alabama or the state you will be working as applicable.
X-Ray Tech Licensing and Certification
After you have graduated from an X-Ray tech program, depending on the state where you will be working you might need to become licensed. The majority of states do require licensing, and their prerequisites vary so get in touch with your state. Currently, all states that do mandate licensing will recognize The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) certification examination for the purpose of licensing, but several offer other options for testing also. Several states also require certification as a component of the licensing process, otherwise it is optional. However, many healthcare employers prefer to hire radiology techs that have earned certification so it may improve your career options in and around Dixiana AL to become certified. ARRT's certification program involves graduation from an approved program in addition to a passing score on their rigorous exam. ARRT also calls for re-certification every other year, which may be satisfied with 24 credits of continuing ed, or by passing an examination.
Online Radiology Technologist Programs
As a component of every degree program, x-ray tech schools will have practical or lab training included in their curriculum. This is the same for online degree colleges. So although you can still earn your degree online, a large amount of the training will be satisfied either in a school lab or in an externship off-campus. Clinical training is typically provided in Dixiana AL hospitals, outpatient clinics or private practices in sponsorship with the schools. However the online section of the training may be accessed in the comfort of your residence. Students who continue working while obtaining their degree often discover that the online style of education is far more convenient with their busy schedules. Plus online programs are often less costly than conventional alternatives. Along with reduced tuition, expenses for study materials and commuting may be lessened as well. But just make sure that the online college you pick is accredited (more on the advantages of accreditation later). So if you are dedicated enough to learn with this less formalized type of training, then online classes may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask X Ray Tech Colleges
When you have selected the type of degree that you would like to earn, you can begin the process of searching for and evaluating x-ray tech schools near Dixiana AL. You will also have to decide if you prefer to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. If you opt for the latter, then of course the location of the school will be relevant. The cost of tuition and supplementary expenses will be a material variable as well. But along with cost and location, what else should you look at when evaluating schools? Well, you should check out if the schools are accredited, and if they sponsor externship or internship programs. To help you learn some of these essential details prior to making your selection, we have put together a list of questions that you need to ask the programs you are reviewing.
Are the X-Ray Tech Programs Accredited? A large number of xray technician schools have obtained some type of accreditation, whether regional or national. However, it's still important to make sure that the school and program are accredited. One of the most highly regarded accrediting organizations in the field of radiology is the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). Schools receiving accreditation from the JRCERT have gone through a detailed evaluation of their instructors and educational materials. If the college is online it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which targets online or distance education. All accrediting agencies should be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Along with ensuring a superior education, accreditation will also assist in securing financial assistance and student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Accreditation may also be a pre-requisite for licensing and certification as required. And numerous Dixiana AL health facilities will only hire a graduate of an accredited college for entry-level positions.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the xray technician programs you are reviewing have associations with local clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a means to fulfill the clinical training requirement for most programs. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Dixiana AL medical community and assist with job placement.
Is Job Placement Help offered? You will undoubtedly want to hit the ground running after graduation, but getting that initial job in Dixiana AL in a new field can be difficult without help. Ask if the x-ray tech programs you are reviewing have job placement programs and what their success rates are. Rapid and high placement rates are an excellent indication that the schools have substantial networks and good relationships with Alabama healthcare employers. It also confirms that their students are highly regarded and in demand.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Dixiana AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the Dixiana AL schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the xray tech program also.
Does the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the xray tech college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dixiana AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Choose the Best Dixiana X-Ray Tech Program
Selecting the right radiology technician degree program is a crucial first step toward starting a gratifying new career providing diagnostic medical services to patients. The ideal radiographer should be in good physical condition. Radiology techs regularly stand for the greater part of the day and move and at times lift the patient to obtain the proper image. Prospects must also show a capability to pay strict attention to detail and to observe the safety guidelines designed to protect both the patient and the medical team. Radiology technicians work very closely with patients, other techs as well as the radiologists and other doctors. Having social skills is a must in order to have a pleasant work environment and provide the best possible care to patients. As we have covered in this report, there are several questions that you need to ask each school you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision. This is similarly true whether you enroll in an online program or drive to classes on-campus. By asking the appropriate questions you can evaluate and compare each college so you can focus your options before making your decision. And with the appropriate education and your dedication to succeed, you can achieve your goal to practice as a radiologic technologist in Dixiana Alabama.